Yannick Ngakoue is among the NFL’s most dominant pass rushers, and could be on the move to his fourth team in the past two years when NFL free agency begins
Yannick Ngakoue’s 2020 season was a bizarre sojourn through the NFL with stops in Minnesota and Baltimore after being traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Vikings last August, and is now poised to become a sought after pass-rusher as an unrestricted free agent.
“Yannick is a good teammate and a hard worker,” a current NFL coach, who coached Ngakoue with the Jaguars tells FanSided. “He’s a good communicator, and has that ‘want to win’ attitude you look for in the great ones.”
Another of Ngakoue’s former coaches was far more direct about what a team would be getting if they sign the 25-year-old this offseason.
“He practices is ass off every single day,” the coach tells FanSided. “And that’s why he’s so productive.”
Ngakoue played six games for the Vikings in 2020 before being traded to the Ravens in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and 2022 conditional fifth-round pick. He produced three sacks in Minnesota, five more in Baltimore, and finished the season with 23 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles.
Ngakoue has 45.5 career sacks through the first four years of his career, and last season added 42 quarterback pressures, while receiving a 76.2 pass-rush grade from Pro Football Focus.
In an era where rushing the passer is paramount to success on defense, it wouldn’t be surprising if Ngakoue signs a mega-deal this month.
Here’s a look at five teams that would be ideal fits for Ngakoue, and should try to sign him:
5) Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens traded a third-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings last season to add Ngakoue to their stable of pass-rushers for a late-season Super Bowl push, and while the two sides have yet to reach an agreement on a long-term extension, it would seem Baltimore wants to keep him around.
Upon landing with the Ravens, Ngakoue produced three of his eight sacks last season over 2020’s final nine weeks and seemed to fit right into coordinator Wink Martindale’s aggressive scheme.
Baltimore knows what it has in Ngakoue. Ngakoue showed he can be a Pro Bowl caliber player in Martindale’s system. The Ravens also have over $18 million in cap space, which is plenty of spending flexibility to retain both Ngakoue and Matt Judon, if they so choose.
A reunion is certainly possible, but Ngakoue will have plenty of suitors if the Ravens are unable — or unwilling — to come to terms on a long-term pact.